Spending long days on your feet at weddings, chasing rambunctious toddlers around parks, wiggling on the ground to find that perfect angle... being a photographer is tough work! You may, like many of us have, find yourself running low on energy or puffing and panting halfway through a session.
Not only do we use up a ton of energy as photographers, we also spend hours at our computers editing or driving to meet clients. Sitting, sitting, sitting (and often snacking) and then – WHAM – bursts of activity! It's a recipe for a crash.
What can you do to avoid this energy crash? You must make taking care of yourself a priority. Somewhere in the rush of your real life, the flurry of editing, and running around to your sessions, carve out about twenty minutes a day within your calendar to breathe deep, to stretch out the muscles in your body, and to build up your strength.
I know you're busy and are in a hurry to get back to the laundry, the dishes, and (of course) your images. Try adding quick little workouts to your day. Kettlebell swings, jumping jacks, and squats will all help get your heart rate up and build strength, which in turn will make all of your daily tasks much, much easier. You'll even sleep better!
Don't have twenty minutes? Take five minutes here and there and do these things, and check them off your list as you go about your day. Little bits of activity add up, and these exercises can be done anywhere.
In addition to building a stronger body, you'll also want to think about what you're putting into your body. It's easy to snack away at your computer desk or to grab fast food when you're out on a shoot. In the long run though, you're only dragging your energy levels lower.
For optimum energy, I like to focus on whole foods and healthy fats and lots of water. Vegetables, berries, nuts, and yummy, full-fat cheese all make delicious, portable snacks that will keep you happy and energized throughout even the most challenging session. If you find yourself away from home and totally unprepared, most places will make their sandwiches wrapped in lettuce (without a bun) and they're almost always happy to customize.
Many of us are running our businesses single-handedly. Keep in mind that a successful business must have a healthy, strong owner behind it. When you feel your best and have more energy, the rest seems to fall into place just a bit easier.
Jennifer Warthan is a professional photographer and certified personal trainer based in Waverly, Virginia. For more information on her training opportunities, please visit www.jenniferwarthan.com.